US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Kurt Ritter

Kurt H. Riitters

Team Leader, Research Ecologist
Forestry Sciences Laboratory, P.O. Box 12254
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Phone: 919-549-4015
Contact Kurt H. Riitters

Current Research

  • Develop new approaches to measure, evaluate and predict landscape and forest spatial patterns and their implications for resource management. Current research focuses on multi-scale approaches from image processing, mathematical morphology, and graph theory.
  • Conduct regional-to-global scale assessments of landscape patterns including forest fragmentation in support of United States commitments to national and international environmental reporting. Current research supports the United States Resource Planning Act (RPA), the international Montreal Process (MPCI), the non-governmental State of the Nation's Ecosystems report card, and other assessment processes.
  • Develop approaches to harmonize landscape pattern assessment and management across disciplinary, legal, and scale boundaries. Current research focuses on national and international harmonization of status and trends indicators for forest, range, agriculture, and urban systems estimated from satellite imagery and land-cover maps.
  • Research Interests

    Landscape Ecology.

    Spatial Pattern Analysis.

    Quantitative Ecology.

    Past Research

    Landscape Ecology

    Forest Health Monitoring

    Forest Inventory and Modeling


    Why This Research is Important

    The assessments produced by this research satisfy legislated and agency requirements for national and international monitoring and reporting of the status and trends of forest conditions nationwide.

    The tools and techniques developed by this research permit satisfying the above goal in a timely and efficient manner.

    The basic research in quantitative landscape ecology develops insights to prioritize particular tools and techniques for development.


    • Oregon State University, Ph.D. Forest Science (Silviculture), 1986
    • University of Minnesota, M.F. Forest Management, 1978
    • University of Minnesota, B.E.S. Elected Studies, 1976

    Professional Experience

    • Various, Various
      1983 - 2012
      Kurt Riitters has 30 years experience in forest research with four Federal Agencies and private industry. He is Adjunct Full Professor of Forestry at North Carolina State University, serves on the Editorial Board of the journal Landscape Ecology, and serves as President of the US Section of the International Association for Landscape Ecology (2012-2014).

    Featured Publications & Products

    Publications & Products

    Last updated on : 03/11/2014